Where Goeth the NFL?
The NFL is on the brink. That’s right. I said it. It is entirely possible that the NFL won’t exist in ten years. Ten years ago, nobody in their right mind would have made that statement.
Times are different now. People have soured on the NFL for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1) The cost of attending a game. To pay the multimillion dollar salaries, teams must charge fans a lot of money. People are tired of paying it. Many feel they may as well watch the game on TV. It’s cheaper, the weather is always nice in the cozy living room and if you want to invite friends over you can “tailgate” on the sofa.
2) The saturation of games on TV. The NFL is aware that too many games are available now. You can watch all day Sunday, Sunday night, Monday night and now every Thursday night. Can fans get too much football. The answer seems to be yes.
3) The proliferation of injuries. So many stars of the game have gone down with season ending injuries this year. Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, Odell Beckham, Jr. and J.J. Watt to name a few. People want to see the big names in the game. When they are not playing some people tune out.
4) The National Anthem protests. Whether one believes in a Constitutional right to protest by kneeling for the National Anthem or not, many fans are incensed by these actions. We have all seen the videos of people burning their football jerseys and vowing to stop watching the games.
So where is the NFL going? You can start with the glut of games on TV. Thursday night games are likely to come to an end. ESPN wants out of it’s Monday Night Football contract. TV revenues, which helped cause soaring salaries and accompanying higher ticket prices, will drop. Your ticket price will probably not.
The view from my seat suggests that you will not see an end to pro football anytime soon, you will see changes. We fans will ultimately decide if we want to spend our hard earned dollars supporting the game or whether we will go in a different direction. Time will tell.